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Old 06-29-2014, 03:46 PM   #1
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Looking for Preferred Pickling Techniques

Its that time of year again, and have a dozen or so kirbies ready to go ( and probably a few more dozen on the way).

Right off the bat, I have no intentions in canning or storing the pickles for a long time, strictly to make and eat. Also, will be sour, half sour, dill...( I hate sweet cucumber pickles).

All that being said, I've seen and tried several techniques over the years , and just did a search which also vary in their methods.

One method is to dissolve the salt in room temperature water, add the spices,garlic... Pour into a jar filled with tightly packed cukes. Let sit on the counter for several days to a week ( depending on how pickled you want them)

Another method was similar, but to bring the contents ( salt, water, spices ...) to a boil. Pour the hot brine over the cukes in the jar, and let sit on the counter several days to a week.

Another method similar to the one above, but let the brine cool prior to pouring on to the cukes

Other methods say to place directly in the fridge and let them sit there for the week.


So, I guess my questions are:
-Room temperature brine vs hot brine to pour over cukes ?
-Store on the counter vs Store in the fridge during the pickling process?

again, I'm not interested in canning or preserving for long periods of time. Im actually known for testing a pickle each day ( since i like them during all stages of the pickling process), so by the time they reach the full amount of pickling, they are usually all gone anyway.

As far as specific recipes go, Im open to suggestions, but its more the process of pickling Im interested in, not necessarily the recipe itself.

Thanks ,

Larry

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Old 06-29-2014, 03:51 PM   #2
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If there is a reason/ or science behind one method over the other, I'd be interested to know too. Ive tried it every way imaginable over the years, IM just curious about others opinions
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:58 AM   #3
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Assuming you are not concerned about the yeasts, molds and bacteria that may cause the product to spoil or inactivating enzymes that could affect color, flavor and texture of the pickled product, then I guess you could do just about anything you want, though I would recommend refrigerating whatever you do since that does slow down the spoilage and other issues for a little while longer.

Personally I prefer (and tend to recommend) that the "brine" be brought to a boil before adding to the contents in clean/sterilized jars so that any/most of those nasties are eliminated at the beginning and thus giving you a longer storage period in the frig.

I relate it to washing your hands regularly, especially after coming out of that rest room. Nobody is going to die if you don't but you run a higher risk of illness if you don't and especially your friends if you share your touch. Immune systems do not like other people's germs.

For making refrigerator pickles I like this place:
How to Make Homemade, Refigerator (no-Canning_Needed) Dill Pickles or Bread and Butter Pickles - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:23 PM   #4
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I would imagine any of the methods in the original post would work. Food preservation is all about creating an environment that's non-conducive to the growth of pathogens. Such an environment can be created through the relatively modern methods of controlling temperature (refrigeration/freezing/boiling) or by adding chemical preservatives.

Pickling has been around for thousands of years, and long before the modern canning process was invented. With pickling, the acidic and salty nature of the brine is what deters spoilage. Human pathogens simply don't propagate well in that type of environment. These days we often augment the process with other canning methods, like vacuum jars and boiling water baths, and it does have some effect of extending the life of pickled foods. But given that the OP doesn't plan to keep his pickles around forever, it probably isn't necessary in his case.

I'm a big fan of refrigerator pickles myself. I think they taste fresher and crunchier than those made using other methods. And they keep fine in the fridge for up to 6 months or longer.

My vote would be to use a hot brine then immediately refrigerate. In a week or so they will taste very "pickley".
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
I would imagine any of the methods in the original post would work. Food preservation is all about creating an environment that's non-conducive to the growth of pathogens. Such an environment can be created through the relatively modern methods of controlling temperature (refrigeration/freezing/boiling) or by adding chemical preservatives.

Pickling has been around for thousands of years, and long before the modern canning process was invented. With pickling, the acidic and salty nature of the brine is what deters spoilage. Human pathogens simply don't propagate well in that type of environment. These days we often augment the process with other canning methods, like vacuum jars and boiling water baths, and it does have some effect of extending the life of pickled foods. But given that the OP doesn't plan to keep his pickles around forever, it probably isn't necessary in his case.

I'm a big fan of refrigerator pickles myself. I think they taste fresher and crunchier than those made using other methods. And they keep fine in the fridge for up to 6 months or longer.

My vote would be to use a hot brine then immediately refrigerate. In a week or so they will taste very "pickley".
So, I can do it this way and avoid putting the jars in boiling water?

I have never really truly understood how canning works.
I mean once you close the jar with a lid and band, how can any outside influence allow for air removal or air escape?

Hence the "pop" from the lid you are supposed to hear once the jars cool.
How does a vacuum occur when the jar is air tight already. I am asking.

I have lots of produce this season and will need to find a way to preserve at least some of it.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
So, I can do it this way and avoid putting the jars in boiling water?

I have never really truly understood how canning works.
I mean once you close the jar with a lid and band, how can any outside influence allow for air removal or air escape?

Hence the "pop" from the lid you are supposed to hear once the jars cool.
How does a vacuum occur when the jar is air tight already. I am asking.

I have lots of produce this season and will need to find a way to preserve at least some of it.
You're not supposed to close the band tightly. If you do that, it will explode in the water bath from the air pressure. Canning directions say to turn the band finger-tight - turn it with your fingers just till it stops, so that it's closed but not tightly.

Trust me, you do hear the pop. If you don't you will be able to easily open the jar because no vacuum was formed.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
So, I can do it this way and avoid putting the jars in boiling water?
First of all, don't confuse the term "pickling" with "canning". Generally speaking, pickling uses acidic brine to preserve foods, and doesn't require a heat source. The only requirement is that the brine have a pH of 4.6 or less, as this creates an environment where most bacteria are unable to live. You can acidify the brine yourself with vinegar, which is the easiest method, but even vinegar isn't required. Another way to pickle is to simply add water and salt to your vegetables and allow the mixture to ferment for several weeks. With this method, bacteria converts sugars and starches within the food to organic acid. At some point, the bacteria that create the acid can no longer live in the environment they have created and will die off as well. Essentially, it's controlled spoilage. This method works for many garden vegetables: cucumbers, carrots, beans, you name it. You can even pickle meats.

Incidentally, sauerkraut is nothing more than pickled cabbage.

Canning involves sterilization and is a different process. You can certainly can pickles, but if you're going to eat them within 6 months or so, it isn't really necessary. Just throw them in the fridge to retain their crispness.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
First of all, don't confuse the term "pickling" with "canning". Generally speaking, pickling uses acidic brine to preserve foods, and doesn't require a heat source. The only requirement is that the brine have a pH of 4.6 or less, as this creates an environment where most bacteria are unable to live. You can acidify the brine yourself with vinegar, which is the easiest method, but even vinegar isn't required. Another way to pickle is to simply add water and salt to your vegetables and allow the mixture to ferment for several weeks. With this method, bacteria converts sugars and starches within the food to organic acid. At some point, the bacteria that create the acid can no longer live in the environment they have created and will die off as well. Essentially, it's controlled spoilage. This method works for many garden vegetables: cucumbers, carrots, beans, you name it. You can even pickle meats.

Incidentally, sauerkraut is nothing more than pickled cabbage.

Canning involves sterilization and is a different process. You can certainly can pickles, but if you're going to eat them within 6 months or so, it isn't really necessary. Just throw them in the fridge to retain their crispness.
How big is your fridge, Steve??
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:05 AM   #9
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How big is your fridge, Steve??
Which one? We have four.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
So, I can do it this way and avoid putting the jars in boiling water?

I have never really truly understood how canning works.
I mean once you close the jar with a lid and band, how can any outside influence allow for air removal or air escape?

Hence the "pop" from the lid you are supposed to hear once the jars cool.
How does a vacuum occur when the jar is air tight already. I am asking.

I have lots of produce this season and will need to find a way to preserve at least some of it.
As GG mentioned, the bands should only be finger tight when you close the jars for canning. It isn't supposed to be air tight. The air heats up in the hot water bath and expands. As it expands some of it escapes from the jar.

When that air that is left in the jar cools, it contracts and that is what causes the "vacuum" seal.
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